Thursday, January 19, 2012

Memories of My Grandfather

I got a call today that I have been expecting for a while, but wasn't looking forward to.  I learned that my Grandfather, Lee M. 'Ranger' had passed away.  Looking back at the memories that I had of him, I thought I'd share some of them, as well as have them recorded for my own children one day.  Thinking about the times that we had together, I can certainly say that we had adventures, and I believe that I learned much of my adventure spirit from him. 

One of my earliest memories of him is going fishing with him and my father when I was just a little guy when we journeyed to Utah for a visit.  Latter, I remember him taking my father and I with him and my great grandfather to the same lake.  In retrospect, I wish I knew what an opportunity that was as a boy, to be able to enjoy four generations of my family together, doing something that we enjoyed together.  He always took care of his garden and put away food into storage, filling a basement room with jars of food.  He put away extra fish and deer meat from the hunt into freezer storage.  I believe that I learned my preparedness mentality from his example.

He worked hard, and was one of the strongest people I know.  As I grew, I had the opportunity to work beside him as my family built our house, and latter as we worked on an addition to his.  I gained a lot of work skills from him, and I am not sure I thanked him properly.

One of my favorite memories of him was how he was one tough SOB.  On a country drive, my cousin and I were with him, he saw the train tracks ahead and instead of slowing down, he floored it.  The car caught air and I hit my head on the roof of the car.  Nice moxie for a gent in his 60's at the time.  While working on his house, we were taking a break and turned on the TV to end up watching a WWII movie.  Some Japanese officers were drinking Sake, he leaned back in his chair and said, "Ahh, Sake, good stuff."   I asked him, "You're not speaking from experience, are you?" in a lighthearted tone.  He replyed, "Shut up."

He could cuss like a sailor, and I knew every colorful word in the book by the time I was 10, mostly thanks to him.  My younger brother has always been a clean living kind of guy, and was shocked when he heard my grandpa cuss when a driver cut us off on the freeway.  In response to my brothers shocked expression, he looked at me in the passenger seat, "Dammit 'Ranger', why didn't you tell your brother I swear?" 

I know that my grandfather is in a better place and that I will see him again, because families on earth can be together forever.  Despite my grandfathers colorful language, he is a good man, and God needs colorful people.  He was too ornery to go willingly, so he needed to be put under for a surgery and have things happen the way they did. 

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